LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Los Angeles welcomed a record 41.4 million visitors in 2012, a 2.5 percent increase over the previous record-high 40.4 million visitors in 2011 and slightly ahead of the mid-year forecast of 41.3 million visitors, Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board (LA Tourism) executives announced today. Total domestic visitation accounted for 35.3 million visitors, a 2.7 percent increase over 2011; total international visitation set a record with six million visitors, a 1.2 percent increase over 2011, with China becoming the destination’s top overseas market for the first-time ever.
“Internationally, the big news is that in just two years, China has jumped from a top five overseas visitor market to LA to our #1 overseas market, and this market will just keep growing.”
In addition, direct visitor spending, hotel occupancy and hotel room nights sold set all-time record highs. Visitors to the city spent an estimated $16.5 billion, a more than $1 billion increase over the $15.4 billion spent in 2011. Hotel occupancy set a record at 75.4 percent, surpassing the previous 2006 record of 75.1%; and the city sold a record 26.64 million hotel room nights generating $180 million in tax revenue for the city.
“Los Angeles has enjoyed two remarkable back-to-back tourism years that reflect our investments in our airport, our commitment to renovate our convention center, and our business friendly policies that help hotels and restaurants open and succeed,” said Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. “When the LA tourism industry thrives, Los Angeles thrives. The tourism industry supports one in 10 jobs in LA and the revenues that come from its success go directly to the city services Angelenos rely on.”
The City generated $151 million in transient-occupancy taxes in FY11-12, an 12% increase over the prior the year. The City is on track to beat even these record numbers in 2013.
“Breaking every record is especially gratifying given the increasing global competition for travelers. These results are a big win for our entire tourism that works tirelessly to create new visitor experiences and services to inspire travelers to choose LA,” said Mark Liberman, LA Tourism President and CEO.
“It’s important to see the growth in domestic visitation as this market segment is key for our destination,” Liberman continued. “Internationally, the big news is that in just two years, China has jumped from a top five overseas visitor market to LA to our #1 overseas market, and this market will just keep growing.”
Early tourism forecasts estimate the destination will welcome 41.9 million visitors in 2013. To continue visitation momentum, LA Tourism is launching a new domestic consumer branding campaign in the first quarter of 2013 to promote spring and summer travel and will continue its popular dineLA Restaurant Week and Discover the Arts programs. Expanded marketing efforts will also debut in Canada, the UK and Australia, along with increased emphasis on international meetings and convention business.
About Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board
Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board is a private, nonprofit business association whose primary mission is to market and promote Los Angeles as the premier site for leisure travel, meetings and conventions. Though not part of City government, LA Tourism is recognized as the City’s official tourism marketing organization. For more information, visit the official visitor information website of Los Angeles at www.discoverLosAngeles.com, www.facebook.com/LosAngelesFan or go to Twitter @discoverLA.